You may be asking yourself what exactly is a topside creeper, and why would I want one?
A topside creeper is a combination of a step ladder and your typical automotive creeper you roll around the garage floor on. A “creeper” in the automotive repair world is typically a piece of plywood attached to casters which allow you to roll around the underside of a car or truck. If you have ever worked on a truck, SUV, or lifted vehicle and have strained to reach into the back area of the engine bay; then a topside creeper is what you are looking for. It allows you to get over the top of a higher vehicle so you can easily work on all parts of the engine without straining your back or legs. I did a ton of research before I compiled this list of the best topside creepers you can buy online.
When looking for a topside creeper you want to be sure it is foldable, cushioned, and sturdy. Most topside creepers are also adjustable, and it is important to make sure it will be high enough for your particular truck or car.
Once you own a topside creeper and get used to owning one, you will never look back. It is worth it alone to help keep you from damaging your back bending over to repair something in the back of your engine compartment.
Here is what I found to be the top overhead mechanic topside creepers in 2019.
BEST MECHANIC TOPSIDE CREEPERS 2019:
The absolute best topside creeper in 2019 is the Traxion 3-700 ProGear Topside Creeper. IT IS PERFECT for the beginner, DIY mechanic, or the professional alike. It comes with all the professional features you would want if you plan on using this daily. Shipping is easy and fast, and putting it together takes less than 30 minutes.
Bonus tip: If you’re like me and want to have every cool little gadget that companies make you can get a partner side stand that will hold tools for you made by the same company. Think of it like a tool cart raised up in the air. It definitely makes your life easier and is a sweet gadget. To check the current price and reviews for the Traxion 3-750 Progear Topside Tool-Tray on Amazon click here.
A topside creeper with a partnered lifted tool tray is a MUST HAVE TOOL for anyone that works on trucks. Especially if you have a lifted Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc.
How valuable is not breaking your back leaning over your hood?
#1 BEST Topside Creeper Traxion 3-700 Topside Creeper:
- I-Base design for more flexible positioning around a vehicle
- The upholstered cover makes replacing the deck much easier
- Adjust in heights from 53″ to 75″ in increments of 12″
- The ProGear Topside Creeper folds away for easy and compact storage
- Product Dimensions: 55 x 36 x 75
- Weight: 72 lbs out of the box
- Holding Capacity: 400 lbs (can handle a solid amount of weight).
- Locking Casters for Safety (No Sliding)
#2 BEST Topside Creeper The Traxion 3-100 Foldable Topside Creeper:
Another reason the Traxion 3-100 is not as desirable as the Traxion 700 topside creeper is that the 3-100 has these sharp corners that can be really uncomfortable if you aren’t careful. People also complain about the ladder steps being slippery and recommend you add traction paper to each step upon receiving the topside creeper.
The price is a decent amount less and the Traxion 3-100 is perfect for the absolute beginner DIY mechanic that wants a cheap topside creeper. It will still be as safe and as sturdy as the Traxion 3-700, it just won’t be as comfortable or as customizable. I did find an awesome price for the Traxion 3-100 topside creeper on Amazon here.
#3: HONORABLE MENTION: ELEVATOR OVER-THE-TOP TRUCK TOPSIDE CREEPER
Redlinestands.com makes a pretty sweet topside creeper as well, the only huge drawback is the price. It is over $900 for the base model, and another roughly $150 to add the folding option. It is also not available on Amazon and must be ordered directly from their website. Another big con is that the redline over the top topside creeper can only hold 350lbs. Meaning for you bigger mechanics out there, don’t go trying to get up on this creeper if you’re over 350lbs. For being nearly 3x times more expensive than the Traxion 3-700 Progear topside creeper, I just think you should be getting more for your money.
That being said it is a very well-built topside creeper and will serve you well if you do buy it. To check out the price and options click here to be taken to the product page directly. They also make a cheaper topside creeper here, but it is basically the same price as the Traxion 3-700 without some of the same features.
#1 ALTERNATIVE TO TOPSIDE CREEPERS– TIRE-STEPS:
Ok, so not everyone wants to invest in a topside creeper and store it when they’re not using it. I don’t blame you, they are mostly for people that are working a lot on their vehicles. Plus, you need to have some dedicated space in your garage to fold up and store your topside creeper.
Well, lucky for you tool companies invented a pretty sweet device called “Tire-Steps” which grab onto your tires to give you a step up on the side of your vehicle. They aren’t nearly as comfortable as a topside creeper and don’t have any cushion for you, but they allow you to reach parts of the engine compartment that are hard without a ladder or step stool.
Really the big bonus with tire steps is that they are cheaper, smaller, and can be stored in the trunk of your car. Instead of a couple of hundred dollars on a topside creeper, tire steps are much cheaper.
I did some research and found that the Heininger Hitchmate 4040 Black TireStep available on Amazon for crazy cheap is an AWESOME gadget for your garage. It has great reviews and can hold up to 400 lbs.
DIY TOPSIDE CREEPER:
I am all for saving money and building things yourself. The absolute best way to save money by buying a topside creeper is to build your own. There are a couple of variations on homemade DIY topside mechanic creepers. One is building a topside creeper using wood and screws. The other methods involve simply welding your own apparatus, or just using a step ladder and an ironing board to lean over the engine bay.
The best homemade topside creeper I have seen online is a very heavy duty wooden one. Lucky for you the original inventor posted a full guide here on how to build it yourself. All you need is wood, screws, and time.
The biggest drawback to building your own is that they tend to be a lot heavier, not easily foldable, and will take up a ton of space in your garage.
Also, you need to build it yourself and no one can guarantee your work. If you build it wrong and it breaks while you are working on a car, you may very well hurt yourself or damage the car. For me, I’d rather just buy the foldable topside creeper that comes shipped to me all ready to go.
WHAT PROFESSIONALS MECHANICS SAY ABOUT TOPSIDE CREEPERS:
When researching a topside creeper I found that professional technicians made sure their topside creepers had a sturdy base, comfortable padding, and the ability to fold it away when not using it. They also are adamant that you need a topside creepers that come with the ability to be set at different adjustable heights. Meaning it will work on a small SUV or a large lifted truck.
Many professional technicians agree the topside creeper is an absolutely essential tool for modern car repair. As trucks get bigger, parts get more complicated, and engine bays increasingly crowded every bit of help you can is useful. Being able to relax, use both hands, and see what you’re doing are all huge benefits when using a topside creeper.
If you want the topside creepers the professionals use, you cannot go wrong swooping up the very nice Traxion 3-700 Topside Creeper.
IF YOU HAVE A LIFTED TRUCK TRUST ME YOU NEED A TOPSIDE CREEPER! Even stock Ford F-150’s will be much easier to work on using a topside creeper. Really the uses are endless.
HARBOR FREIGHT TOPSIDE CREEPERS:
As of late 2018/early 2019, Harbor Freight does not offer a topside creeper on their website. You can check by clicking here to be taken to Harbor Freight’s creeper selection on their online catalog. Maybe they will come up with one soon, or maybe your local store has one and they don’t offer it online.
Many people do ask about Harbor Freight topside creepers, they, unfortunately, do not make one. I recommend checking out the Traxion 3-700 ProGear topside creeper on Amazon. It is an affordable price for a tool you will use all the time if you work on trucks/SUV’s.
NAPA AUTO PARTS TOPSIDE CREEPER:
Napa auto parts have a topside creeper available on their website here. It looks very well built and would be warrantied at any Napa auto parts location. The only drawback is that it is around 100 dollars more expensive than the Traxion 3-700 model on Amazon. It also does not have the new I-beam style of wheels that allows for more flexibility fitting underneath cars and trucks. To read more about the Napa topside creeper click the link above, and you can find out all about the specifications. Through my research through the Traxion 3-700 is better built and less expensive.
SNAP ON TOPSIDE CREEPER:
Snap-On tools do not have a topside creeper available on their website. They will likely offer one coming soon, and it will likely be 3x more expensive than the Traxion model (as are most Snap-On tools). Here is a link to Snap-On’s online catalog where it lists all their creepers available.
After posting a discussion question in a professional mechanic forum with over 30,000 members, the conclusion is clear; topside creepers are an awesome addition to anyone’s garage or shop. They allow you much better access to the top of truck engine bays and save your back in the process. Everyone agrees once you start using a topside creeper you will fall in love quickly. They are a relatively new invention and many companies still have yet to offer a topside creeper including both Harbor Freight and Snap-On. Many professional technicians agree the Traxion 3-700 ProGear topside creeper is the perfect combination of value and functionality. I highly recommend it!
If you are on more of a budget, then don’t worry just grab the cheaper topside creeper on Amazon here. Or if you don’t like the Traxion brand grab the ATD topside creeper here (it just isn’t as a good as the Traxion model and nearly the same price).